The Lingyin temple and its Buddhas carved in the stone

Lingyin Temple is one of the jewels of Hangzhou in China. This place shelters thousands of monks and has a great heritage. In fact, this temple is one of the largest and most valued in the country. However, for visitors, its main attraction is the nearly 300 statues of Buddha in its facilities.

The temple, which is at the foot of a mountain, has several pagodas and Buddhist caves. Despite the influx of tourists, here you breathe peace and tranquility. Therefore, it is always an interesting visit. Let's get to know him better.

The history of the Lingyin temple

Temple interior

The Lingyin temple was founded in 328 and six centuries later it already sheltered in its facilities more than 3000 monks. The wealth of this place increased after its reconstruction between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. However, since then suffered robberies and attacks, so it has had to be restored 16 times.

During its almost 17 centuries of history, the Lingyin temple has been dedicated to religious and spiritual activities. Today, although it is home to thousands of monks, it is mostly occupied by tourists. But also Pilgrims from all over the world arrive here, although especially from other parts of China.

What awaits you at Lingyn Temple

Everything will surprise you in this peculiar temple, from the height of its structures to the unique sculptures that adorn it. We take a little tour of it.

The caves

Road to Lingyin Temple - Kwong Yee Cheng / Flickr.com

Feilai Feng caves are some caves that you can visit. The limestone peak that hides them has a curious legend. He tells me that he was in India and traveled to this place flying thanks to the omnipotence of Buddhism.

The most curious part is in the main cave. There is a crack in the roof that is said to be "a thread from the sky" because from a specific position you can see sunlight.

Hall of the Four Kings

Temple interior

The Hall of the Four Kings It is the main entrance of the temple and one of the most important parts. It has a statue of the Maitreya Buddha. In this place there is also the oldest statue in the temple, a Skanda Buddha, which is at least 800 years old.

In this room are the statues of the four heavenly kings. These sculptures are so large that they will leave you impressed. The grandiloquence of this room makes Lingyin's temple one of the main centers of Buddhism in China.

When you cross a courtyard you will reach the Mahavira Hall. In it you can see the Shakyamuni statue, which is the largest in the country built with wood. In the rest of the room stands the statue of Guanyin and the golden ceiling, located 30 meters high.

Buddha statues of Lingyin Temple

Maitreya Buddha

Definitely, the most peculiar thing about this temple is the path on which the Buddha statues are found. A "seeded" path of sculptures carved in the hard rock, located in niches or small caves.

There are about 300, some in better condition than others. They were not sculpted at the same time, but were made between the 10th and 14th centuries. And each one of them is different from the previous one.

The most curious and also photographed of all is that of the Maitreya Buddha. He is smiling and lying down. In addition, he leaves his huge belly in the air. This statue is one of the best preserved of all that is next to the Lingyin temple.

What else to see in Hangzhou

Hangzhou West Lake

In Hangzhou, Lingyin Temple is one of the main tourist attractions, but not the only one. We must visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda, built in 970. It honors the six Buddhist ordinances, which are the harmonies of the heavens, the earth, east, west, north and south.

Another area you should see in Hangzhou is the famous West Lake. In it there are up to four artificial islands. You can walk through it to get to know it thoroughly and enjoy the best views from its viewpoints. You also have the option of knowing the lake from within, that is, on a boat that runs along its waters.

Video: Lingyin Temple - Hangzhou - China (April 2020).

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